The Buddha once said, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” I hear it every day; people upset because they hold onto something that they need to let go of. Part of the problem is we seem to depend on our happiness through people and emotions. The problem is when we hold onto a negative emotion we become attached; we limit our ability to experience joy.
When you stop trying to own, hold onto and control the world around you, you give yourself the freedom you need to fulfill you without the power to destroy you. That is why for my next two blogs I want to talk about letting go.
By holding on, we become prisoners of our past. I cannot tell you how much of today’s issues people face is created by holding on. We hold on to pain, anger, rage, past hurt, failure, rejection and a host of other negative emotions. So negative that all we tend to want to do is on to it. makes no sense right? Yet much of today’s pain and anger we feel are from things in the past that we have chosen to hold onto.
So why do we hold on and why are we so attached?
There are many answers to this simple question. We hold on because we truly believe that is what makes us happy. The very things we are attached to we feel if we let go of it, then we let go of a part of ourselves. Though somewhere we know this is not true, we hold it as truth.
Sometimes we hold onto things because it makes us feel connected while other times we hold onto things such as pain and anger because it is how we identify. I think for many, we hold on because we identify ourselves through pain. That’s right. Some people may hold onto emotional pain because they feel that is their identity. Who would we be without our pain?
Sadly, I think we tend to hold onto the hurt, the anger, the resentment, because we fear that if we could let it go effortlessly, then whoever caused the pain in the first place, would be getting away with what they said or did, too easily. So we end up holding on, which is essentially, hurting our own selves.
Finally we hold onto things because we do not know how to let go of past hurt. So in part 2 of Letting Go, we will talk about how to let go of things because once we learn the art of letting go, it becomes more difficult to hold on. For today this is Dr Tyler Woods saying walk in peace…
Scratching the Surface of Anger